So you've managed to nab yourself a man and are in a serious, long-term relationship – congratulations! But the story doesn't end here, there's more to being a couple than just being together. Sometimes you don't know that person until time allows you to get closer, and their 'true colours' come to the foreground. If this happens to you, you should never put up with certain kinds of behaviour when you're in a relationship just because you already made the commitment or you said 'I love you'. Here are the key 8 things to look out for.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T – it's an essential part of any relationship. So if a man is disrespecting you in any way, you shouldn't stand for it. He could be dismissing everything you say, treating you like a plaything in public or mansplaining everything to you. Whatever his disrespectful actions, you need to make him understand that your opinions matter too and that you both have equal say in the relationship.
You know that childhood chant that goes, 'Liar liar, pants on fire'? Well, if he's constantly lying to you, we don't blame you for wanting to set his pants on fire (not in a good way). White lies are par for the course in life and it happens in relationships too. But deliberately lying is a no-no. So if he's always making up stories about where he was or why he can't accompany you to your family dinner, cut him loose. Trust in essential in relationships and if he can't even tell you the truth, he's not fit to be in a serious one.
Being taken for granted
Getting comfortable with your partner is an amazing feeling but it could also result in him taking advantage of you. He might always expect you to do the chores or make plans for your dates while he does, well, nothing. It's normal to help each other or even ask for favours like picking up his favourite snack on your way home but if he expects you to do things for him without him doing anything in return, it's not a balanced relationship. If he's treating you like his personal assistant instead of his girlfriend, let him know how he's making you feel.
You should definitely never put up with physical abuse but emotional abuse is equally unacceptable. It might be harder to realise you're being emotionally abused – there are no physical scars, after all – but the damage should certainly be taken seriously. Examples include your man being very controlling, taking his anger and stress out on you, insulting and humiliating you, or threatening you so don't keep making excuses for him if he's doing this.
When you're a couple, you're part of a team and should support each other. Someone who doesn't show any interest in your success isn't worthy of sharing his life with you. Your man should support your ambitions and goals and even help you to work towards them so if he's discouraging you – or, worse still, laughing at you – he's not long-term relationship material.
If your man jokes about how you've been looking a bit tired lately, that's alright and shows that he's concerned about you. But if he's making jibes and shaming you about your weight or appearance, that's not acceptable. He could be genuinely insensitive (not a good thing) or trying to manipulate you into thinking that you're not good enough for anyone and will therefore feel indebted to him for being with you. Either way, don't put up with it.
A lack of effort
Don't expect him to wine and dine you and buy you flowers every week – that only happens in movies. But he shouldn't turn into a slob overnight either. It's normal to stop trying to impress each other after you've been together a while but he should always keep making you feel special, whether it's the odd compliment or making an effort for special occasions. If he's making you feel like you're just another person in his life, have a chat with him and give him a chance to put in more work.
Do we really need to explain this?